A Travellerspoint blog


Salkantay to Macchu picchu and Lake Titicaca

sunny 8 °C

Another country and finally a chance to put up a blog. The internet can be a little dodgy and unreliable in Bolivia so although its been a while, it doesn’t mean we have been standing still. We are now back in the USA and after a couple of nice days back in Miami we have just arrived in the freezing cold city of San Francisco.
Firstly we had our hearts set on a trek through the mountains of Peru where we wanted to end up in the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. We chose a lesser known and trod trek over 5 days called Salkantay. The Salkantay trek took us to an elevation of 4600m that encircled the Salkantay mountain and followed an old Inca trade trail. We were with a group of about 10 other trekkers complete with a guide, horseman and a cook and tents. Most times throughout the five days we were completely on our own and didn’t see a soul. It was a great way to meet people and we made some great friends. Each day promised an early cold start but once a bit of breakfast and hot tea was on board we were ready for the long days’ walk. P1060395






The scenery throughout the days was spectacular and the usual chatting along the way made the days go quickly. Most days a cup of tea,,a warm meal and a couple of beers were enough to send you off to bed to near coma level. There was an afternoon of international soccer where there were at least six nations represented . Competition was fierce amongst young men but good spirited. There was one Israeli who fancied punching above his 51kg fighting weight but no injuries were recorded despite his efforts. The soccer pitch was a great size and in a beautiful location but with a few added inclusions, rocks. There were boulders strewn throughout the pitch just to make it interesting. For the record I believe the Invitational Peruvian National team made up of mostly guides and locals won the day 3-2. We continued our trek reaching milestones of toughness and elevation however by the end of the third day we found ourselves in a soaking hot spring sending all of the aches and pains into oblivion. We managed to see a few Condors soaring above the mountains and the whole experience was very nice.
The fourth day of our hike saw us arrive in Aguas Calliantas, a small town at the base of the ruins of Machu Picchu. We stayed overnight, had one last dinner with the group and headed for the ruins via the old track. We opted for that as it seemed a bit ridiculous to balk at the 1 hour and a half climb after what we had experienced the previous 4 days. We could have taken a bus but arrival times at the ruins would have seen us getting there with the throngs of tourists and we wanted the place to ourselves even if was only for 15 minutes or so. Our fitness levels must be high, Brenton the mountain goat made it up under 40 minutes and I think the rest of us under 50 minutes.macchu Picchu

macchu Picchu



The ruins were spectacular, despite only living there for a short time the Inca’s achieved quite a lot. Their way of building and laying interlocking blocks together for beauty and strength is beautiful. It seemed every structure is carefully thought out and located according to an overall plan that when viewed from the air seems to represent a Condor. They built representations of sacred mountains and calendars marking Eqinox and Summer and Winter solstice to tell them when to plant and harvest. A very simple but effective way of living. When visiting the site you can only imagine the hardships they must have faced just creating the site. P1060504


They literally carved a community out of stone to make terraces and level housing sites and all at the top of a mountain.P1060450


Lake Titicaca
Moving South Lake Titicaca beckoned and saw us on a bit of an organised tour throughout the number of small reed floating islands that is home to these island people. They create the islands themselves by cutting down through the reed base and by lashing the large pieces together, drag them wherever they want to go. Securing them with tethers of rope they ensure the island doesn’t float away. They cover the entire island with more levels of grass and start building their huts on it.P1060604


The feeling is like walking on a firm water bed, a little spongy but not wet. Although it was interesting and the islanders skills and abilities with seemingly being able to make anything from the reeds was very informative, I was happy to move on from the touts and see more of the lake. Part of our tour was an overnight stay on one of the islands with a local. Our local “mama” met us at the wharf and soon had us in her tiny kitchen feeding us vegetable soup and making us feel welcome. A bit of a tour around the island was on the cards and the boys even managed another game of football with some other travellers and some more locals. I think they may have won this time. Our “mama” dressed us up in traditional clothes and took us to the local hall for a disco. P1060634




We had a great time dancing with the locals. Another day on the lake saw us exploring another island and sharing a great lunch with a beautiful view. This was followed by a long slow steam back to port but sitting up on top chatting to other travellers made to trip go easily.

Posted by mike1967 11:38 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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